APA Clinical Practice Guideline Development

Clinical practice guidelines provide research-based recommendations for the treatment of particular disorders. They generally include assessments of the strength of the current scientific evidence for each recommendation.

APA has not previously developed clinical practice guidelines, but in 2010 initiated a process for producing such guidelines. (APA has previously produced professional practice guidelines which address psychological practice with particular populations or in particular areas without focusing on specific disorders or treatments.)

Updates and news about APA's progress in developing clinical practice guidelines are provided by the APA Science Directorate, the APA Practice Organization and APA's Monitor on Psychology.

Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

"APA Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Adults" was approved as APA policy by the Council of Representatives on Feb. 24, 2017.

Please cite as: 

American Psychological Association, Guideline Development Panel for the Treatment of PTSD in Adults (2017 February). Clinical practice guideline for the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in adults. Retrieved from: http://www.apa.org/about/offices/directorates/guidelines/ptsd.pdf

Contact the clinical practice guidelines team for additional information.

Placing Clinical Practice Guidelines in Context

Provision of high quality, effective care that reduces symptoms and helps the patient return to higher levels of functioning is a shared goal for patients and their families, practitioners, policy makers, and administrators. But knowing which information to trust and prioritize is not easy, and synthesizing available research and determining preferable care options can be daunting. Clinical practice guidelines are an essential tool to guide clinical decision-making and make it easier for patients to get the care they need.

Advisory Steering Committee for the Development of Clinical Practice Guidelines

The advisory steering committee, appointed by the APA Board of Directors, is overseeing the process of guidelines development.

In addition, the advisory steering committee is developing a manual of procedures to describe the process that APA is following for guidelines development.

Meeting agendas and summaries of the advisory steering committee are available online.

Members of the 2017 committee:
  • Chair: Bethany Teachman, PhD, University of Virginia
  • Gregory Aarons, PhD, University of California, San Diego
  • Barbara L. Andersen, PhD, The Ohio State University
  • Francisca Azocar, PhD, Optum
  • Anthony Chambers, PhD, The Family Institute at Northwestern University
  • Kimberly Hepner, PhD, RAND Corporation
  • Jacqueline Persons, PhD, Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Science Center
  • Jason Satterfield, PhD, University of California, San Francisco
  • Glenn Smith, PhD, University of Florida 
Call for Nominations:

The advisory steering committee will periodically seek nominations of individuals to serve on guideline development panels. Details will be provided for any calls for nominations as they become available.

Note: APA has adopted new terminology aimed at bringing its labeling of guidelines in accord with that of other health care organizations. The term "clinical treatment guidelines" has been replaced by "clinical practice guidelines." Further, the term "practice guidelines" has been replaced by "professional practice guidelines." Clinical practice guidelines are focused on specific disorders and interventions, while professional practice guidelines are mainly concerned with how practice is conducted with particular populations or in particular settings.